Catholic Values Column: Voting with a clear conscience


When we all head to the polls or send in our absentee ballots this November, we will be fulfilling our moral obligation as Catholics to vote. Stuck between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, it’s hard to see how we can vote for one of them and feel completely guiltless.

As the Democratic candidate, many of Hilary Clinton’s views are contrary to the Church’s teaching. This includes her stances on marriage and abortion. She has also been under fire for carelessness with classified information, which, under most circumstances, would lead to an arrest. These facts showcase that she is dishonest, and may not be capable of handling the important international threats that are facing our country. Looking past all the campaign ads and interviews, her actions speak louder than her words. Her dishonesty and carelessness is shown through her actions, even though she claims that she has done nothing wrong.

Donald Trump is not out of the woods either. Like Clinton, he will make no real effort to defund abortion, thus going against our morals as Catholics. He has made many strong statements that we are all familiar with: derogatory comments towards his fellow politicians, reporters, as well as individuals and groups like immigrants. He has strong foreign policy opinions, including the infamous wall along America’s Mexican border. The real issue is separating his insults and other strong language from his real views and plans for the country. His fiery personality may prove explosive in dealing with foreign relations.

A third option is to vote for a third party candidate, although it’s too late in the game for one of these candidates to win. With only a month left until election day, it would be extremely hard for a third party candidate to get enough voters and media attention to have a significant effect on the vote. Even though these candidates may be good options, they have no real way of winning and therefore casting a vote for one of them isn’t helping the country in a real way.

No candidate is the perfect option in this election, or in any election. Policies and personalities change over time, and when we are stuck in a worse-than-usual situation we are still morally required to vote. Looking at each of the candidates from a Catholic perspective, analyzing their views on life, marriage and faith, can lead us to make a better decision even if we are forced to pick from the lesser of two evils.

The way to vote with a clean conscience, knowing you tried your best to help the country, is to look into the candidate’s true policies, beyond all the insults slung by both sides and by the media. I could write about all the things that Clinton said about Trump, but truly that would be a waste of my time and yours. I cannot convince you to vote for one of them, but I only hope to encourage you to look past all the gibberish and into the real character of these two people.

When it comes time to cast your vote next month, disregard all of the media articles and interviews that focus on solely superficial he said – she said arguments and instead direct your attention towards the candidates’ real views, as well as their past and current actions. These are the real measures of character.